Posted by: Vallere | July 19, 2011

Inlaw Adventures

We had such a busy and fun time with my mother in law (MIL), father in law (FIL) and sister in law (SIL) the past three weeks! We did so many things that I had to go back and look through my pictures to try to remember what order we did things in!

One of the first things we did, after letting them catch up on sleep, was to head to Virginia Lake and walk the circuit around it. Ian was so excited to show his Mimi, Granddaddy and Auntie Ann the talking cockatoos (complete with Kiwi accents) in the aviary, the pukeko and coots wandering around the lake, and the gorgeous swans. My MIL was especially struck by the swans. At Virginia lake, we have black swans which come from Australia. They are huge and almost completely black – not what you expect from a swan! But they are just beautiful!

The rest of the week we did our mostly-normal activities like playgroups, gym class, and Mainly Music. Everyone joined us for one of the playgroups and gym class, where they were excited to watch Ian walk the balance beam and do summersaults. Zollie and Ceirdwyn got in on the action as well, playing on the floor and equipment that the “big kids” weren’t using.

We only had one real weekend in New Zealand with everyone (they arrived on a Saturday and that Sunday was Ceirdwyn’s birthday party), so we tried to pack in as much sightseeing as we could.

On Saturday, we decided to head  up to Waitomo. There are a series of caves there with glowworms in them. SIL especially thought that was pretty neat. We called ahead and booked tours through three of the caves and were told it was about a 3 hour drive. Well…it was really more of a 4 hour drive, which turned into almost a 5 hour drive once the kids decided they needed to stop for snacks and a few potty breaks. By the time we arrived we had to drop the longest tour from our plans, but we were still able to take in the Glowworm cave as well as the Aranui tour.

We passed by some spectacular views of snow-topped Taranaki on the way there. And note how GREEN this place is, even in mid-winter!

I think this was the first time any of my inlaws had been through caves, and they were glorious. I wish I had pictures of the glowworms (which are the larval stage of an insect – they bioluminesce to attract the moths they eat), but no photography was allowed as they live in the pitch dark parts of the caves. You can go here  ,however, to see how neat they look!

Here are some shots from the other areas of the caves:

Here is one showing the exit to the Glowworm Cave. You ride a boat out the stream running through it. It’s very interesting being in a boat in the pitch blackness of a cave!

After we were done with the caves, we found a short hike through the woods we wanted to check out. MIL and FIL stayed with the kids in the warm car while The Doc, SIL and I explored for a bit. We found some neat little caves along the trail, and a really pretty stream!

We made our ride back home, and I think everyone really enjoyed the trip. I know we all slept well that night!

There are plenty of more adventures to come, so stay tuned!



  1. Looks like a really neat place Your SIL looks like she was having a really good time 🙂 I wish we could visit he he he

    • Oh girl, I wish you could, too! SO many things we do or see and I think, “Oh I wish Crystal was here with me!” Like when I go to the vege market…or the dairy to pick up milk/eggs/yohgurt/honey…or the park…or all my homeschool activities…*sigh*

  2. Great pics

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